Tuolumne Meadows to Mammoth Lakes

September 21st, 23 miles.

Since our last stretch was a longer carry, we decided to split our next one up. It just wasn’t worth it. The extra weight slowed us down as much as stopping into town would have and our bodies didn’t need the added stress.

Julie and her boyfriend drove us back to the trail in the morning. It was still a bit gloomy out, but at least it wasn’t raining. Today we hit Donohoe Pass (el. 11,074′), which was one of the more dramatic passes of the Sierra. The climb wasn’t too bad, and once we got to the top the view was magical.

 

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Approaching Donohoe Pass.

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View descending Donohoe Pass. Notice how the trail has “stairs”. These are found often in the Sierra. They are meant for horses and are actually kind of annoying to hike on because of the awkward spacing!

While descending, I could definitely feel the air getting colder. We were trying to figure out a place to camp without being at super high elevation, but it wasn’t looking too possible. We got to a spot early on to prevent camping any higher. We were at about 9670′ and it was so cold that we had to set up our tents to eat dinner in and keep warm. We ended up doubling up our tents so that the extra body heat would keep us warm. We got to camp really early so it was hard to fall asleep in daylight, especially while trying to keep warm.

 

September 22nd, 13 miles. 

We woke up to a cold morning and packed up fast. The guys were ready before me and Gaucha so they had a bit of a head start. We had a small climb up Island Pass (el. 10,335′) and met the guys at Thousand Island Lake for breakfast. Would have been a good swim spot if it wasn’t so cold! But what a gorgeous view!

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Thousand Island Lake

We kept hiking and finally warmed up. We got the Agnew Meadows Trailhead and ate lunch, then continued on. We were all hiking separately today doing our own thing. I mainly listened to music but I was feeling really good.

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We got a view of the Devils Postpile which was pretty cool. We continued hiking and arrived to Red’s Meadow. We found a ride into Mammoth right away from a lady named Laurie. Her and her husband dropped us off and we got a bite to eat at a Mexican restaurant in town, then did our resupply. Mammoth was a really cool town and it would have been an awesome place to hangout, had we had the time.

We weren’t planning on staying but by the time we did our resupply it was pretty late, so we decided to spend the night. We stealth camped at the campground in town and decided to head out early in the morning to get a good start to our day.

 

 

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South Lake Tahoe to Tuolumne Meadows

September 15th, 14 miles. 

Today we woke up, filled up on breakfast, checked out of the motel and bussed to Lake of the Sky Outfitters to get some last minute stuff.

We hung out for a while and then went outside to get a hitch. Our hitch situation wasn’t looking good, but luckily a women saw us and offered to drive us, saving us some trouble! She was very sweet and super outdoorsy so we had lots to talk about.

We got back to the highway trailhead and got to hiking. This next section is a 6 day carry, and since we all ran out of food last time, we made sure to pack lots. We are also carrying the bear canisters which added extra weight. All of our packs are HUGE and sooooo heavy! We weren’t going too fast that’s for sure.

We had a super steep incline to start and the trail was kicking our butts. We could all feel the impact of the extra weight. Our pace was about 2.5 miles an hour and we were taking more frequent breaks.

We got to camp just before the trailhead at Highway 88 and threw our packs off right away. Colonel couldn’t find his new stove and was thinking he might of forgot it at the outfitters. He was super bummed about it but is going to hitch into town tomorrow morning and try and meet back up with us. Hopefully it’s there!

We also noticed how much earlier it’s getting darker too. Might have to start waking up earlier. Lots of new changes for this section!!

 

 

September 16th, 23 miles.

Last night was definitely a colder night, we all woke up chilly. Gunna have to get used to it with this higher elevation in the Sierra. Colonel went to hitch and the other three of us started our day. I really hope he catches back up with us!

It’s been a real struggle with these packs. We stopped almost every 3 miles for a quick break to relieve our bodies. Our pace was so much slower.

I was moving faster than the others this morning. We had some pretty big climbs. Once I got to the top of the big climb, I saw Mr. Z there having a snack. It was a pretty awesome view so I stopped to enjoy it, followed shortly by the others.

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We all hiked together for the rest of the day. It went by slow. My pack has really been bugging me because it’s too big and now with the extra weight it’s become a problem. By the end of the day my feet were really starting to hurt. Between the steep climbs, elevation gains and heavy packs, there is a lot more impact on your body and it’s definitely noticeable. Will just take some time to get used to.

We were supposed to hike 4 more miles today but Toto’s ankles are really bothering him, which is concerning. We made camp a bit early and wrote a note for Colonel and left it on trail so he doesn’t miss us. We made a fire and went to bet shortly after.

Today was definitely a slow one and had some of us feeling down, but it’s only the first day of this section and we’re still getting used to things. Gotta stay positive!

 

September 17, 25 miles.

Another cold morning! We woke up to see Colonel camped with us which was awesome! He found his stove AND got Toto an ankle brace which seemed to help his ankles incredibly! What a relief.

Today was another tough day with lots of climbs. We hiked close together and told each other stories and asked each other questions like usual. Mr. Z caught up with us later in the morning too.

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We were taking a bit longer breaks today. We stopped for a shorter lunch and then kept going. After lunch I was feeling really sick and nauseous. We had a big climb too so that didn’t help.

We still had about 6 miles to camp and it was getting late, so we decided to eat early and continue hiking. The awesome thing was that I ran into Nuthatch and Ben, two hikers I had saw in Washington several times at the start! I was so excited! They decided to flip flop because they had to get off trail and knew they wouldn’t make it into the Sierras in time. It was so nice to catch up with them!

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We continued hiking and Goutcha and Colonel both started feeling nauseous too. We were thinking it is either food or the altitude, maybe both. We stopped at a site 2.8 miles before we were gunna camp and decided to stay there instead. It was already dark anyways and we’d be hiking for another hour, plus we didn’t want to push our limits with everyone not feeling great.

It’s the second night we cut our miles short but it’s been okay. We are still getting used to everything so we are taking it as it comes!

 

September 18th, 22 miles

Today I was feeling a little nauseous. I wasn’t sure if it was from the elevation or what. This morning was gorgeous though as we walked through some beautiful forest. We had lunch at a really nice camp spot by Carson River. It would have been the perfect place to camp, but we were lucky enough to each lunch here.

Getting up Sonora Pass was a bit of a struggle. Toto’s shin splits were still bugging him so we both trailed behind for the most part. We finally got to the top of Sonora Pass which was a pretty big deal for us. This was the Sierra!

We stopped at the top to have a snack and enjoyed the view! We continued hiking and made our way to the trailhead at Hwy 108. We had the option to go to Kennedy Meadows North but didn’t need to. We hung out at the trailhead for a bit and got to talking to the Christian Motorcycle Club who was having a big barbecue. Mr. Z caught up with us shortly after. The Motorcycle Club shared their leftovers with us which was super sweet and we ended up hanging out here alot long than we had expected.

We finally decided to hike out. There was  a lot of uphill ridge walk but the scenery was very different so it didn’t seem so bad.

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The sun started to set and the sky lit up pink and it was absolutely beautiful. This was when it really hit me that we were in the Sierra! The rest of our hike today would include looooooooong downhill switchbacks, which was the perfect way to enjoy the sunset. The switchback were so long but it was really cool to see how they cut down the mountain and into the valley.

Me and Colonel chatted for the most part, finally getting into camp. Tomorrow we would be entering Yosemite National Park so I was super stoked for the day to come. Yosemite was one of biggest reasons which sparked my interest to hike the PCT! Ahhhhh!

 

September 19th, 16 miles. 

Today was such an awesome day! We met Checkerboard Red, another thru hiker, but he passed us quickly. We also hit a pretty big milestone (quite literally!!!!) as we hit the 1000 mile mark!! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

We entered Yosemite and the scenery kind of drastically changed. How gorgeous was it! And such a beautiful sunny say it was. We got to Dorothy Lake and knew we HAD to stop to lunch here. Mr. Z was with us and we all went in for a swim. We ate lunch, laid in the sun, and ended up having a long nap (oops!)… no regrets though.

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Dorothy Lake

We mainly hiked solo for the rest of the day. I kind of got in some bad headspace and was having a bad mental day. It was such a beautiful day and we were hiking through some beautiful rocky, forest so I didn’t want it to effect me, but it was. Gaucha caught up to me and we hiked together and talked alot which helped take my mind off things. We finally got to camp and I told the others what was up. I felt like it was best to be honest with everyone and they really appreciated me saying that.

We camped at Stubblefield Canyon which was a super nice open area right by a creek. Gaucha made her first fire on trail and we all enjoyed a lot of rest time as we ate dinner and watched it turn dark. We all shared a Backpackers Pantry dessert which was actually declines. Turned out to be such a good night.

There are inevitably going to be bad mental days on trail. You just have to tell yourself its only one day and that tomorrow will be better… because it will!

 

September 20th, 21 miles.

Everyday in the Sierra you are introduced to bigger, more beautiful scenery. Mr. Z was still hiking with us and in the morning we conquered Seavey Pass (el. 10,106′) and Benson Pass (el. 9128′)-two of the smaller passes in the Sierra. We hit some absolutely gorgeous scenery.

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Everything in the Sierra was so grand!

 

Later in the afternoon we met a section hiker named Katie who had already set up camp even though it was super early. We convinced her to pack up and hike on with us! I struggled on the uphills for the rest of the day. We all hiked as a group and carried on with lots of conversation, getting to know Katie.

 

We saw the most unbelievable sunset and all stopped to take it in and snap a few photos. So incredible, it didn’t even look real!

It started getting dark and we needed to find a place to camp. We just got down to the meadow near Matterhorn Creek and found a spot that was semi-sheltered to camp. We all set up and enjoyed another night around the fire.

 

September 21st, 19 miles. 

We woke up today and the whether wasn’t looking too great. It held off all morning but soon enough it started to rain, so we geared up. Me, Katie, and Gaucha hiked together for most of the morning which was nice. Our girl to boy ratio was 3:3 which was pretty rare! Female company was awesome to have, especially since the male demographic was much higher on trial.

It rained quite a bit today which kind of sucked, but I didn’t mind too much. We were hiking on the John Muir Trail and it was absolutely stunning! I wish it hadn’t been raining so I could have got some pictures, because today was gorgeous. So many colours-strong greens and so many lovely red wildflowers. We passed a few day hikers even though the whether was shitty.

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I was on a bit of a roll today and me and Katie got a bit ahead of the others. We couldn’t wait to get to Tuolumne Meadows for warm food! We passed Tuolumne Falls which was amazing! It was a shame it was cold out and we couldn’t go swimming in it. It would have been a perfect lunch spot.

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We finally got to Tuolumne Meadows and I headed straight to the Post Office to see if my sleeping pad was there. IT WAS!!!! FINALLY!!!!!! I was SO excited to finally have something between me and the ground, especially in the Sierra where the whether was going to be much cooler. Wooooo! Maybe the first time USPS hasn’t let me down! I then headed to the burger place and ordered a meal. I saw down and Colonel joined, followed by the others. I ended up eating two burgers because they were SO good and I was so hungry.

While me and Colonel were in line to eat, we started talking to a lovely lady named Judie and her husband Frank. They didn’t know much about the PCT or thru hiking, but Judie gave us her number and told us to give her a call when we get to White Pass. They lived in Ridgecrest, the nearest town by that part of the trail. She said we were welcome to stay, clean up and get a warm meal with her! Awesome!

Katie parted ways with us along with Mr. Z, as he was going down to Yosemite Valley so we could do the entire John Muir trail. I had originally wanted to go down to the valley but didn’t for a few reasons. 1. I didn’t want to separate from the group, 2. The whether wasn’t pleasant anyways, 3. I knew I’d be back to Yosemite and the valley itself can be a whole other trip and 4. It was starting to get time to push through the Sierra… the whether was already starting to turn so waiting any longer might be dangerous.

We hung out for while trying to wait out the rain but it looked like it just wasn’t going to stop. We all talked and decided it might be best to stay in town for the night. None of us wanted to hike in the rain and since our stuff was already wet, camping in Tuolumne wouldn’t do much for us.

We tried hitching into Lee Vining which ended up being a bit of a challenge. We thought the sight of drenched backpackers might get us a hitch easier, but apparently not. We started asking people in the parking lot of Tuolumne. We found a car that could fit two of us, so me and Gaucha got in just as the guys were getting a hitch.

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We got into Lee Vining and me and Gaucha started calling motels but EVERYTHING was booked. We didn’t know what to do, when all of the sudden a passerbyer asked us if we needed a place to stay. Her and her boyfriend had rented a cabin with two extra rooms. She thought it was silly to let them go to waste so she welcomed us to stay with them. Amazing!!!

Once the guys got there we went grocery shopping and made Julie and her boyfriend dinner as a thank you. After dinner we played some cards and then went to sleep.They were heading to the valley the next day so offered to drive us early back to trail, which worked out perfect!

South Lake Tahoe

We got into South Lake Tahoe and naturally the first thing on our minds was food. We asked our hitch where a good place to eat was and he dropped us off at a restaurant named Ernies (There are two restaurants across the street from each other-one named Bernies and one names Ernies. I believe we ate at Ernies but I can’t remember lol love the idea though!). Of course we all ordered a TON of food and hot drinks, since we were cold and soaked from hitching in the rain. We finally filled up and headed to Lake of the Sky Outfitters, where we were hoping to figure out what our plans were in town.

Lake of the Sky is an awesome place for hikers. They are incredibly hiker friendly, super accommodating, and very helpful. We hung out for a bit in their hiker lounge to figure out some logistics and then went off to the motel we booked. We all were super stoked to shower, clean up and just relax in a bigger town than most others on the PCT.

Toto’s shin splits were really bothering him so we decided a full zero the following day would be the best idea for all of us. This was my original intention so I was glad the others were onboard. The full day of rest was definitely going to be needed.

We went grocery shopping, did our resupply and did some chores back at the motel. Then we went to Harah’s Casino for a buffet dinner where we ran into Beanstalk, who we hadn’t seen since Donner Pass. He joined our table and we all took full advantage of the buffet (maybe a little too much). We could barely move but managed to make our way back to our room, where we just watched TV for the night. It was super relaxing and we were stoked for another day of full rest tomorrow!

 

0 miles

Today we woke up and explored South Lake Tahoe a bit. I had to get a new bear canister because mine got lost in the mail (my luck with USPS has been a disaster this entire trip). We all bought a few items of replacement gear which was needed this far into the hike. After we went to the movies which we were super stoked about. It was fun to do a real life activity!! We saw Hell or High Water which was unbelievable! We all thoroughly enjoyed it.

After that we went to grab a bite to eat. We went to Basecamp which had a really cute patio with fairy lights and live music. Basecamp gives hikers each a whole personal sized gourmet pizza. Sooooo good!

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After a few beers we went back to the motel and drank some wine and watched TV. We would be hiking out in the morning as soon as possible.

Sierra City to South Lake Tahoe

This is where my blog slowly falls apart… I stopped blogging/journalling as much when I met up with other people. I am basically posting by memory and with what little I had recorded!

35 miles

Our big group of SOBO’s woke up and started our day together. We were all a little scattered to start, while everyone was still waking up and getting in their groove. I was a little ahead of the group and saw MY FIRST bear on trail! Wooooooo! So many people have been asking me if I have seen any wildlife and I really hadn’t seen much until now!! The bear was fairly close but sprinted off as soon as he saw me.

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Hiking in a big group was different. I was really enjoying it, but I could not imagine doing it for a long haul. One misconception I think people have when you say “I am hiking with someone” is that you are actually hiking with them at all times. A lot of the time when you are hiking with someone, you both go at your own pace. One may be ahead of the other for a bit of time, one might stop for a break or a snack or a bathroom break. You are not always side by side with one another.

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We all kind of flip flopped for most of the day, because of those reasons. It was nice to have so many different people to talk to and so many different things to talk about. If you weren’t vibing with one person you had someone else you could go to. The one thing that was difficult with this large of a group was the fact that there is just SOO many people and everyone has different needs. Its hard to account for each person.

It was a beautiful day and I was really feeling good. Just before it was about to get dark, we entered some beautiful forest scenery with some amazing rock. It was super unique and reminded me of Marble Mountain. I really hate hiking in the dark so I picked up the pace in front of everyone. There was a beautiful sunset and not long after it was pitch dark. You could feel the days getting shorter for sure.

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I finally got to Peter Grubb Hut, where we were camping that night. I was soooo hungry and couldn’t wait to eat, but I managed to hold myself until everyone else got there. We all made dinner together, talked, laughed, played music with the guitar in the hut and sang. It was such a fun night, one I definitely won’t forget on trail.

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A few of us slept in the loft of the hut and others slept outside. I wasn’t sure whether I was going to stay with the group or do my own thing, but I was definitely enjoying my time with everyone so far!

 

8 miles 

So today we woke all woke up, started hiking, and realized we would be crossing a rest stop at I-80 and Donner Pass Ski Ranch which immediately got us excited for town food. We had not planned on stopping there but of course everyone was down for a good meal.

We got to the rest area while was only about 6 miles from where we camped. We looked up the Ski Ranch to see if it would be open during this season and it looked like it would be… but not for another few hours. We were all so excited to get town food and it was a little disappointing that we would be passing through while it was closed… so we ended up taking a much longer break than we intended… which allowed us to get to Donner at opening. Funny how that worked out!

While we approached the Ski Ranch, there were some good rock climbing spots we scoped out. Colonel is a huge rock climber and had been teaching us a lot about it, so we put our skills to test. It was fun to do something other than hiking!

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Rock climbing at Donner Pass

We finally arrived and everyone was super stoked to get there. We all received a free beer on the house and then Toto ordered a round of tequila shots for everyone. We were really excited about the beer and the shots that we forgot about food… Safe to say the alcohol hit everyone pretty hard and things got real pretty fast! Me and Goutcha ordered another round of shots for the group, followed by Mr. Z, and before we knew it we all had a few beers and a lot of shots in our bodies. We finally got some food which helped sober everyone up but everyone was still very drunk. We all took naps outside on the patio, telling ourselves we would hike out soon… that didn’t happen.

Pippy and Gramps got picked up by there friend who lives in Truckee, so we said goodbye to them, although we were sure we would run into them again soon. Beanstalk and Mr. Z decided to hike out, but the rest of us needed a bit more time to recover.

FINALLY we decided to hike out, which wasn’t all that good of an idea. We made it about 0.5 miles and decided it was a good place to camp. Goutcha went right to sleep, while me, Toto, and Colonel had a small fire before bed.

Today DEFINITELY wasn’t what we had expected, but it was so hilarious and another incredibly memorable day on trail.

 

27 miles 

We were a little upset with ourselves for not hiking much yesterday, so we wanted to make up for lost miles today. In the morning we passed through a lot of ski lifts and entered Granite Chief Wilderness. We had some views of Tinker Knob and McKinney Bay as well.

We ended up camping earlier then we wanted at Barker Pass trailhead because it looked like a good spot. It was sheltered from the wind, which had been quite aggressive today. We set up camp and headed over to the picnic tables to eat. Eating dinner at a table was a nice change!! While we were eating, a man came back from a day hike with his dog and gave us all a beer. We chatted for a bit, he left, and then we all went to sleep.

 

26 miles

Today was an awesome day on trail. We woke up a littler chilly, as it was a windy night. The wind kept up all day. It was feeling a lot cooler than usual, but things warmed up in the afternoon. We entered Desolation Wilderness, which has been by far one of the most unique wilderness’ of the trail.

We ate lunch at Middle Velma Lake which was absolutely gorgeous. It looked like we were in another world. We went swimming which we soon regretted since the wind had picked up again and made it impossible to stay warm. It was such a lovely spot. The wind got so bad that we ended up cutting out lunch short and continued hiking.

 

The views all day were so incredible. Everything was so unique. There were so many lake which all had really cool outlets and little islands. One of my favourite spots on trail. We hiked up to Dicks Pass (el. 9375) which was the highest we had been on trail yet. We hung out for a bit and then kept going.

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We hiked on passing a few more lakes. We hiked as a group for the most part and conversed a lot. We wanted to hike further but when we got to  Aloha Lake we knew we had to camp here. Absolutely stunning!!!! The lake was massive with so many beautiful camp spots and a ton of islands everywhere. Definitely on my top 5 campspots along the PCT. For anyone hiking the PCT, I would definitely make a note to camp here, or at least take a lunch break if the timing didn’t work out. We were also here for sunset which was so stunning.

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Aloha Lake at sunset.

We made camp and hung out for a while since we got here early. We made a plan to wake up extra early tomorrow (which none of us were excited about). We would be hitting town and wanted to get there as soon as possible, but still had a few miles to hike in the AM.

6 miles +some

Last night I was sleeping, when all of the sudden I felt some cold drops on my face. I thought I saw a few flashes of lightening, so I instantly got up and put my rainfly on. And good thing I did, because it started SNOWING like crazy. So unexpected!!! We woke up in the dark with snow covering the ground. I was at first a little mad, because I didn’t want to face the cold, especially so early in the morning, but it ended up being SO beautiful! It was so quiet and gave a new sense of solitude.
We started hiking and got a little lost since we couldn’t see the trail. Colonel’s GSP wasn’t working because of the weather, so we whipped out the compass and maps. We found our way back pretty quickly. We couldn’t believe the snow this morning. The views were incredible.

It warmed up a bit as the sun came out and it ended up being a beautiful day. It took us a lot longer to get the highway than we planned. We passed Lake of the Woods and Echo Lake.

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The sun coming out at Echo Lake.

Echo Lake looked like a beautiful spot I would want to come back to! They had cabins and lake activities and obviously lots of hiking around. Its a shame they weren’t very hiker friendly (so we just passed on through).

We finally got to the highway and hitched into town. We finally make it to South Lake Tahoe which means we were now entering the Sierra-one of the most grand sections of the trail! Woooooo!

Update. 

I haven’t posted in a while so I feel an update is needed, especially because there are a few things I haven’t talked about that I should. 
1. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but ever since Oregon I have gone by a new trail name, Bright Eyes. There were too many Old Schools on trail which was causing a lot of confusion in the registers! I got the name for my positive thinking, however some creative spin offs have been made over the course of my hike. 

2. A lot of people have been asking me about wildlife. I’ve only seen one bear and two rattlesnakes, all in Northern California. 

3. I have been finding it very hard to blog for many reasons; I don’t have service often, I don’t necessarily enjoy it, I’m too tired by the end of the day to write, I am always trying to conserve my phone battery, and I just don’t have time when I’m in towns. With that being said I do want to be able to look back and read about each day I’ve had on trail, so I am trying my best to write something each day. It’s a great way to keep people updated but it’s a lot of work, especially when I don’t enjoy doing it! 

4. Incase you didn’t realize, I decided to go back to thru hiking after a little flip flopping and backtracking! I should have mentioned this much earlier but it has constantly slipped my mind!

5. I have decided to finish my hike with Toto, Colonel and Goutcha, as long as the logistics match up! I have enjoyed every minute hiking with them and it’s been nice to be with a group! 

I am currently in Lone Pine right now and continuing South! Thanks to everyone for the constant support, and I’ll try my best to keep this updated when I have the time! 

Belden to Sierra City

DAY 57: 20 miles, September 5
Last night I didn’t have the best sleep for two reasons; one, being my camp spot wasn’t very flat (I NEED MY SLEEPING PAD!!!!!), and two being there was a train that went through Belden probably 3-4 times that night. So loud!!!!!
I woke up around 6:30 and started packing up camp. I went to the restaurant, although it didn’t open until 8, to use the wifi and get some stuff done, including locating my sleeping pad!! For some reason the wifi wasn’t working so I was pretty mad about that. 
Me and Wafflecone waited until 8 for breakfast and then went on in. We waited until 9 to get serves (we heard a lot of things about this place being slow, they were right!). We were both impressed with our meals considering we had low expectations. 


Because of the slow service we didn’t get out until 10:15ish. We hit the trail right away, knowing we had a big climb ahead of us. We would be climbing from 2217ft to 6231ft in only 6 miles.
The climb really didn’t end up being that bad and it went by fast. We had some gorgeous views of open mountains once we got to the top. 


We continued the day, leap frogging each other often. We both took a break at the top of Mt Pleasant which was beautiful! There were tons of awesome campsites around that would have been great to camp at. 
We both didn’t really know how far we wanted to go today. I have been leaving towns with no set goal of how far I want to go, because you never really know when you’re gunna get back on trail. I thought the climb was gunna take more time than it did, so i was already going to do more than I had expected. 
I had picked out a campsite I wanted to camp at, and Wafflecone said he was thinking the same area. I got to the spot and wasn’t a huge fan. A lot of the designated sites are right beside/connected to the trail, which I really don’t like. I continued on, hoping to find another one not too far. It wasn’t looking too promising, and right when I started to regret skipping the last site, I found a much nicer one. It was bigger and further from the trail so it had more privacy. Perfect! 
I figured Wafflecone was going to camp behind me, so I didn’t expect to see him tonight. I got to camp around 7:15, set up and ate dinner. 
I wasn’t expecting to do 20 miles today, so it looks like I might get to Sierra City sooner than I planned! 
DAY 58: 27 miles 
Usually I just eat breakfast quick in my tent, but this morning I took my time and ate outside. It was nice to not rush the morning. 
Today was a little uneventful. In the morning I reached Lookout Rock, where I took a small break. It was such a nice relaxing spot with a great view. Wafflecone arrived as I was packing up, but I knew I’d see him later. 


I was hiking really fast today. I had wanted to lunch at Middle Fork Feather River, but it was a little daft and I figured I would want to eat before then. 
The climb down to the river was about 3000ft. The worst part was right when we reached the river, we’d be climbing right back up. I ended up getting to the river at a decent time, made my lunch, and went for a swim. The water was freezing but it was nice to rinse off. I laid in the sun, ate and relaxed. Wafflecone showed up and did the exact same. I read for a bit, taking a long lunch and then finally decided to conquer the climb out. 


It wasn’t as bad as I thought, considering it was only 5 miles long. Most of the day was forest without any views. 
I got to camp around 6:30. It was a really nice, spacious spot. I set up and ate, then read for a bit. I usually hike until 7:00-7:30, so it was nice getting to camp earlier tonight. 
DAY 58: 25 miles 
I took my time with breakfast again this morning. I started hiking, feeling a little slow but didn’t think it would be a problem today. 
Today would look a lot like yesterday-a few big climbs in and out and then some rolling hills. I really didn’t like these climbs because it was mainly just forest without any views of the mountains. I was currently in Plumas National Forest which has been one of my least favourites so far. 
I felt slow all day taking lots of breaks, but got to my lunch spot faster than I expected. I ate at the West Branch Beartrap Creek. I took another longer break because I knew I could afford to. 
I continued on with a long incline. I was tired of these 2000-3000ft dips down, just to climb right back up again! So useless!! On the bright side I was ending my day at 7500′ with some awesome terrain and views. 


 Unfortunately my campsite was in the forest so I didn’t have a spectacular view, but I didn’t mind. I was so excited to eat when I got to camp, so I set up fast. The last two days I could really start to notice my hunger. Hiker hunger has finally hit! I think it’s from all the vertical! 

I got to camp SUPER earlier tonight, around 6:00. I could have easily kept hiking, as for yesterday, but I didn’t feel the need. I had a campfire and read a lot which was nice. Tomorrow I’ll be in Sierra City! The elevation doesn’t look too crazy so hopefully I can get in there as soon as possible! 

DAY 59: 17 miles 
Today I woke up and got moving so I could get into Sierra City as soon possible. About halfway there I stopped to take a snack where another SOBO, Toto, ran into me. We talked for a bit and his other friends, Colonal and Beanstalk caught up. We all hiked into town together. It was super nice being with a bigger group, the conversation definitely made the time pass. 

We had a beautiful hike down into town with lots of ridge walk. It was only a mile and a half off trail to town where we went straight to the General Store. Sierra City is famous for there one pound burger which was huuuuge. We all got food and sat down to relax. Mr. Z, Pippy, Grams and Goutcha all joined up eventually (all other SOBOS). We had lots of fun hanging out as a big group! 

one pound burger everyone got at the General Store!


We all got our resupplys and sorted our packs then headed out. We camped right outside of the town where we had a huge site right by the river. We all swam, washed up and had a campfire. Such a good way to end the day!! 

8 SOBOS leaving Sierra City… a rare sight!!!

Burney Mountain Guest Ranch to Belden Town

DAY 51: 0 miles!!! August 30
I woke up and went to the ranch where Linda was cooking me breakfast. It was wonderful! Homemade whole grain waffles and a veggie omelette. Mmmmmm! 


Right after that I headed straight to the showers. I was so excited to shower with SOAP finally!!! I did laundry as well and was so excited to have everything clean!! Ahhh! The little things ❤️ The ranch also had a piano which I have been missing INCREDIBLY, so I played that which felt so good!!!! This place was perfect! 
I went into town to see if my sleeping pad had been shipped in, as it was supposed to be (my sleeping pad has been broken since almost day 1, I’ve been working with Thermarest to get a new one sent but it’s been a process). Nope, no package. Guess it will be another week or two without a sleeping pad. At this point I feel like I don’t even need one since its been so long. 
I got back to the ranch and took care of some stuff, uploaded pictures, blogged, etc. I had so much to do! It was getting late and there was still a lot I needed/wanted to get done still, so I decided I’d take a full zero instead of a Nero. This was the place to do it. It was so homey and welcoming. 
I spent the rest of the day relaxing and getting everything sorted. For dinner, Linda made me a black bean burrito which was unreal! It was sooooo good to have some home cooked meals with nutrients and vitamins!!! Yum yum yum. 

I went to bed a little late but had plans to get up early and get back on the trail! 

DAY 52: 24 miles, August 31



I woke up early today, packed up, said goodbye and thank you to Linda, then got back on the trail. 
Today I would be on Hat Creek Rim, a dreaded part of the PCT that all the NOBOS complained to me about. It is dreaded for two reasons; one, being a long, waterless stretch of 50 miles (not including the cache), and two, because of the full exposure. A lot of people were saying they night hiked it or did a long day of it just to get it done with. Honestly, it wasn’t bad at all. The rim was gorgeous because on west side you got a view of Mt Lassen and on the other side, stretched out by a huge valley, you got a view of Mt Shasta. Amazing! 


It was pretty hot today but the rim had a lot more shade than I expected. NOBOS were being dramatic!! I got to the cache which was turned into a really cool hangout space. There was gallons and gallons of water, snacks, and portable phone chargers. I love the trail Angels!!!!!! 


There were four other Northbounders there too. I ended up taking a long lunch there and finally decided to leave so I didn’t miss the sunset at camp. 
I was really surprised how fast today went by, especially considering I took a zero the day before. I think it was my first day on the PCT feeling that way. I took my time all day, stopped at a bunch of view spots, took a long lunch and didn’t push at all. 
I got to camp and was really really happy with it! It had a beautiful view off the rim, but the site was a little hidden in a small forest with lots of space. It would have been a really great site for a big group of hikers. 
I setup camp, ate and watched the sunset which seemed to last forever. I had the perfect view. I can’t believe so many people night hiked this section, there was so much beauty missed!! 


I had a small fire afterwards and then off to bed! Another great day on trail 🙂 

DAY 53: 25 miles, September 



Well, I think yesterday went by so fast because today made up for it. What a slow day I had. 
I woke up freeeeezing which was very surprising, especially considering the elevation was only around 4500. I did however have a really good sleep, which would be my first on trail. I slept in until 6:45 which I think is also the latest I’ve slept in since being out here! 
I usually warm up once I pack up and start hiking, but that wasn’t the case! It was very windy and the sun was shining, but I still wanted to put on my puffy. I felt so silly because I knew later I’d be sweating, so I refrained. About 0.1 miles in I tripped pretty bad and fell on my knee (the same one as last time), and twisted my shoulder really weird. I kind of just laid there for a minute because everything hurt so bad. I was nervous about my shoulder but luckily it was fine once I moved it a bit. My knee hurt a lot and was a little scuffed up. 
I kept hiking and got off the rim shortly. I had been taking sooo many breaks today and for some reason was so hungry, I was eating all of my snacks already. I didn’t know what was up today. 
It took me a while but I finally got to the Subway Cave. The Subway Cave is a short trip just off the PCT to a lava tube that is approximately 1000 ft long. A lot of people skip it but it sounded really neat, and it is right off trail so you my as well!


It turned out to be really cool. It was nice and cool inside and as you walked into them it was complete darkness. Even with your flashlight on you could only see a few feet in front of you. Super eerie and really cool! I really enjoyed it. 
I was only there for maybe a half hour and then continued hiking. I was approaching Old Station, a town right off the PCT with a population of about 50 people. I was debating if I wanted to stop in or not. I didn’t really need to, but felt the need to since it was right on trail. Since I was going sooo slow today, I thought it was a better idea just to keep rolling through. 
My knee was hurting a lot today which also slowed me down. I ended up sitting about 5 feet away from the trail and taking a short nap. Talk about lazy today! 
I continued through having to push myself. I tried listening to music and podcasts but nothing was helping. Just one of those days. 
I also wasn’t looking forward to my camp spot, because it was in a burned area. There was another spot 2 miles south of it but there was a lot of bear spottings there, so I didn’t really want to camp there. 
Overall, today was very flat. I entered Lassen National Park which was a gorgeous part of the trail. It was all forested area but it was very tidy and well kept. It was a nice section to walk through. 


Soon enough, the forest turned into burned down forest. I kept taking breaks all day but finally got to my site just before 7. I was so ready to just set up camp, eat and go to bed. 
Today was probably my least favourite day of California so far. It wasn’t bad, I just wasn’t feeling it. I felt like I spent more time breaking today than I did hiking. I find the days I sleep in are the days I feel slothy. Hope tomorrow is better! 

DAY 54:
25 miles, September 2

Didn’t sleep the best last night, I was so cold! My alarm went off at 6 but it was still pitch dark, so back to bed! I woke up 20 minutes later to an incredible sunrise!!!


I packed up quick and started my day. I had plans on stopping in at Drakesbad Guest Ranch, as a lot of NOBOS recommended it and, even though it has only been a few days, I could really use a good meal! I am so sick of backpacking food, I don’t know how I’m going to go another 2 months on it. 
The problem with the Drakesbad was that they served breakfast for PCT hikers at 8:30. I knew there was no way I was going to make that. Lunch wasn’t until 1 so I was kind of just getting there when I got there, and figuring it out from there. 
I had a really great morning! I was happy to feel better than I did yesterday. I was hiking at a fast pace and felt good. About 2 miles past my site I saw Twin Lake, the one I wanted to camp at the night before but refrained because of bear warnings. My gosh was it beautiful!! And the campsites were perfect. I immediately regretted not camping there, even despite the bear! There were two other tents set up there when I passed this morning so I wouldn’t have been alone either. Darn. 


My entire day was filled with some beautiful, beautiful forest. I had 10 miles to Drakesbad but it went by fast. I approached Warner Valley and loved the descent. It was so beautiful! 


I got to Drakesbad around 10:30. They give PCT hikers discounts on there buffet meals, the only catch is they have to wait until after the meal hour for the leftovers. Lunch wasn’t until 1:00, which was such a long way away. But I had been looking so forward to a good, big meal I decided to wait. I had already done 10 miles this morning and another 15 was doable if I waited. As long as I could hike fast, which I didn’t doubt considering this morning. 
Drakesbad would have been a really nice place to take a zero. The Warner Valley campground just outside of it was incredibly nice. The Ranch also had volleyball nets and I was wishing there were other hikers here to hang around with. There was definitely lots to do. 
The Ranch offers PCT hikers free showers, and since I had the time I was obviously going to take one! It had only been two days since my last one, I was getting spoiled!
The showers there were SO NICE and I definitely took advantage. I had the longest shower and washed up a bunch of times, but when I dried off I was STILL running off dirt. I wonder how long after my hike it will take for me to be completely clean again. 
It felt sooo good to have clean hair especially! I sat outside and read until finally I got to eat!! The lunch was delicious too! Lots and lots of salads with vegetables and fruit. These were the kinds of meals I needed! I loaded my plate up a ridiculous amount and ate every last bite. I was able to be out of there by 1:00, which was awesome because I could take my time more hiking. 
More beautiful forest to continue my day. I took a few breaks that I probably shouldn’t have, and realized I really better keep my pace up if I wanted to get to camp by 7:30. 
The last 4 miles really went by slow. I got to camp which was right by a spring. The sites were right by a road and there was a huuuuge camp set up beside me. It looked like there were 6+ people camping there. They clearly were not there, and I assumed they had a vehicle and were gone for the day. I went to bed but was soon awakened by them returning to camp. Turns out it was only 2 guys. 
Two more days until I’m in Belden!

DAY 55: 23 miles 
Today was a bit of an exciting day because I was going to reach the PCT halfway marker! Wooo! 
My neighbours woke me up being extra loud this morning. I went back to sleep until I saw daylight and then got up and on the trail by 7. I had wanted an earlier start so I could do as much miles today, then have less the day I get into Belden. 
I felt good today but was i ever slow. I try not to listen to music or podcasts unless I’m really struggling, so I threw some on. Didn’t help. 

Another exciting thing about today was that is was the season opener for college football!! AND I had service on the trail to stream the Michigan game. Was that a coincidence? I don’t think so! I was super stoked to listen to the game and hike. That unfortunately didn’t help my pace either though. On the bright side Michigan had a sweet victory! I was sad I was going to be missing the season.
I continued hiking when I FINALLY got to the halfway marker. I took photos and read a lot of the register notes. These were some awesome ones for read. What a milestone! But to be honest, it didn’t really feel that way. More like, this is only half?? I get why a lot of people quit after reaching this point. 


I was so hungry so I ate right at the marker. Today had been super cloudy, probably the cloudiest day yet. I wore my long sleeve for most of the day. 
I continued hiking hoping to pick up my pace. I felt like I really wasn’t getting anywhere today. I had a tent site picked out but I didn’t think I was going to make it that far. I didn’t mind. I just decided to keep hiking and I’ll camp where I camp. 
The day really dragged out and kind of put me in a bad mood. I just wanted the next day. It’s hard not to let your mood effect your day, especially when your mind has so much time to wander. I just kept telling myself it’s only one day. We all need bad days occasionally. And it wasn’t even a “bad day”. 
I had a blister that developed today so I decided to change into my flip flops to let my feet breathe. It was a little hard to hike in them with the soft dirt. I had some really amazing views in the late afternoon. There was one spot on top of the mountain that was gorgeous. I was debating camping here even though it was only 5:30. I decided to carry on because I didn’t know what I would do with all that time, and I’d rather create an easier day for myself tomorrow. 
I finally got to camp at the summit of Humboldt mountain. What an incredible view! I had the perfect camp spot. 


What a great finish to a day like today. I set up camp quick and ate dinner, admiring the view. One of my favourite camp sites. 
I’m glad today had a good finish. I really hope tomorrow is a good day and I can get to town. I have a feeling it might be another struggle! 

DAY 56:
25 miles. 
Last night I woke up at 1:00am wide awake. My muscles were so crampy so I stretched a bit. I was also really hungry which was weird, especially because I ate so much for dinner. I ate some of my oatmeal I had made for breakfast and went back to sleep. 
I woke up around 6:15am and packed up camp. I couldn’t believe how cold the nights were getting. I’m wondering if I’m going to need warmer clothes for the Sierras. I got back on trail and was hiking quite fast to start! Awesome!! 
This morning consisted of some medium sized hills, and then about 12 miles of steep downhill, from 7000ft to 2000ft!
I was hiking at a really good pace all day. I knew I’d end up getting to Belden sooner than I planned which was always nice. I took a short break at a creek for lunch and continued on. 
A southbound sectioner, Wafflecone, caught up with me and we hiked together until town. We got there and I was sooo hungry. I bought my resupply and some snacks, then hung out for a bit. Belden is a very very small town, with a population of 13 apparently. It’s usually used for events. It’s been fun hearing everyone’s stories from Belden, and what events they got to participate in during there hike. 


After hanging out and talking to some people from around town, we made camp near the water. 

Etna to Burney Falls 

Day 43: 20 miles
I woke up pretty early so I could get as much done as possible and get back on the trail. Me, Bucket and Solar Body hung out at the City Park to charge and organize our stuff. I went to the Dollar General to buy a few more things of food, then went back and sorted my pack. We were walking out of town when we noticed a thrift store so we stopped in. Bucket found the perfect straw sun hat he had been wanting and I bought some fabric for 25 cents to make into a bandanna. It was definitely a good stop.

We walked further down the street when an old couple asked if we wanted a ride. Perfect! We didn’t even have to hitch. They were driving another hiker up so we all squished in the back.

Back on the trail again! Today actually went by fast and I was being super speedy for some reason. You can really feel how much towns revitalize you! By the end of the day my pace was even faster. I ran into a NOBO who said there was trail Magic a mile ahead by the interstate. Wooooo! Even more motivation to go faster!
I got to the road and there were about a dozen other hikers surrounding a picnic full of food. One of the NOBO hiker’s mom was following her son and his crew for the next week setting up trail magic for him and his friends. How awesome! It was such a great crew and I was having a blast hanging out with them. I was supposed to camp another three miles from the interstate with Bucket and Solar Body, but I told them I’d catch up with them tomorrow. I really wanted to take advantage of what would probably be my last interaction with a group of NOBOS.
The NOBOS really had me wishing I went North instead of South. It sounds like such a community and a big party, which I know I’d get sick of but hearing about it made me a bit envious. I don’t regret my SOBO decision at all!! It’s just funny how different a NOBO hike is vs. a SOBO.
We all set up camp on the helicopter pad hoping that no one would need air lifted that night. We all chatted and joked and had such a lovely night. We had a clear view of the sky and saw tons of shooting stars.

I also found out that one of the girls in the group was the author of one of the blogs I had been following in order to plan my hike. I was so excited to meet her! So cool!!
Another one of my favourite nights on the PCT. I can’t describe how much happiness I have, especially on nights like this. Extremely thankful to have met this group and be able to spend the night with them. Love love love nights like this. Nothing will beat them.

Day 44: 34 miles

I woke up early and said goodbye to everyone. They were trying to get me to go NOBO with them which was tempting. I got on trail just before 6 and it was nice and cool thankfully!
I was surprised by today. It was extremely flat and made for an easy day. I was glad because I wanted to do 30 miles. When I looked at my map, there was a big gap between campsites, so I was either going to have to do more or less miles. I was gunna push for more!
I entered Trinity Alps Wilderness and met back up with Bucket and Solar Body. My pace was fast again because of the flat terrain I’m guessing.

It was definitely a long day. Near the end, there was lots of chunky rock terrain which was really starting to bug my feet. So close to camp though! The trail was pretty steep downhill and I rolled my ankle and fell on my knee, scuffing it up a bit. It was nothing bad but I’m just super happy my ankle was okay!!! That was the first time I had ever tripped or fell on the PCT yet!
FINALLY I got to camp after 34 miles! I set up and filtered some water, when the guys came. It was pretty late and I don’t like getting to camp that late, but I broke a new record for mileage so that was cool! We made a campfire, ate dinner then fell asleep underneath another amazing sky full of stars.

 
Day 45: 27 miles

Today I woke up SO COLD which had me sleeping in yet again. I finally got up, and started moving. Right away, I knew it was going to be a slow day. I wanted to get as much mileage in today as I could so I would have less tomorrow and could get into town sooner. It was another flat day for elevation so I knew it was doable.
I took tons of short breaks today and almost had a nap by a stream. For some reason I was so sleepy today and it was really slowing me down.I had some awesome views of Mt Shasta all day. Mt Shasta has been weird because you’ll see it and then it will disappear, and then reappear in the most random spot. It really has you wondering where the trail is taking you!!

I entered Shasta Trinity Wilderness and was almost at camp. I got to Castle Crags National Forest which was stunning. The trees were so tall and stood so straight, covered in bright green moss. It was beautiful.
The last mile felt really long, which I hadn’t had in a while. I finally got to camp and it was worth it. We had a beautiful view of Mt Shasta and the mountains in the background. I got to camp around 6:30 which was awesome. I had lots of time to eat, relax, stretch and enjoy the view.

 

Day 46: 18 miles, +2 off trail, August 25

I woke up this morning to the most incredible view of the sunrise. It was so surreal I can’t even put it into words. I just laid in my sleeping bag and watched the darkness turn to light.

I finally packed up while the sun was still rising, and hiked with my eyes glued to the sky. I was going pretty slow at first because I was so mesmerized but then my pace picked up fast. I really wanted to get to town and I was kind of mad I had 18 miles to do, plus the 2 off trail to get to the camp.
I could feel myself slowing down but I kept pushing through. I finally got into Castella around 1:00pm. I needed food as soon as possible so I headed right to Ammaratis Market and bought Ben and Jerrys ice cream, a beer and a bag of chips. I sat right in the parking lot and ate because I knew I needed to do my resupply still, but didn’t want to walk back and forth from the camp.
I laid all my stuff out and cleaned out my pack, then went back to the market to buy my resupply. I was pretty disappointed with the market to be honest, because I had heard good things and they didn’t have much variety. I also expected some fresh fruit or vegetables and sandwiches. It was insanely expensive as well, probably my worst resuppl yet.
I kind of wanted to leave and get back on trail, but I felt like I didn’t need to rush and needed to take a break in town. I went back to the Castle Craig’s campground which had a spot for PCT hikers for only $3 which included a shower. Wooooo!


I took my shower, set up camp and then three NOBOS came to join-Chocolate Milk, Hoot and Blur. We had a fire and Hoot had a guitar and sang. Chocolate Milk and I exchanged back massages which was definitely a good idea and much needed. We finally went to bed and called it a night.
Day 47: 20 miles, August 26

Plans to wake up early…. guess what happened? I saw all the other guys still sleeping when my alarm went off and decided to sleep in too. What was the rush? I finally got up, packed up and got on the trail.
The ranger at Castle Crags State Park told me a better side trail to get on the PCT. It was not better. It was longer and I ended up backtracking a little which was frustrating, but it could have been worse I guess.
I finally got on the PCT, crossed a railroad track and the Sacramento River. My pace was incredibly slow today and I took a ridiculous amount of breaks. I just wasn’t feeling it today.
There was a lot of downhill into some lower elevation. I didn’t really care how much mileage I did today but ended up doing 20. I feel like anything under 20 isn’t enough, even my body wanted to do more today but I said no!
I got to camp just after West Trough Creek, and saw Heartattack (another SOBO) and a NOBO at the site. I joined them, ate dinner, chatted for a bit, then went to bed.
Hoping tomorrow I’m not so sluggish!


Day 48: 27 miles, August 27

I swear one day I’ll wake up at my 5:30 alarm. Not today. I got on trail at about 6:30 feeling a bit better than yesterday already. I took a lot of breaks again, usually plopping right on the trail hoping that nobody would cross. All the NOBOS are basically through, I’m only seeing maybe one or two a day.
Today I went down to almost 2000′, which was really weird. I don’t like being this low! There was a lot of vertical today but I was happy to finally start going uphill towards the late afternoon. I passed a beautiful river but didn’t stop because there was too many people around. It was the most gorgeous colour though!

I sat at a creek and ate lunch, not taking too long. Since I was so low in elevation, the views today sucked. It was all brushy forest, with a lot of overgrown brush blocking the trail. I just wanted back in the mountains!
No matter what, everyday I feel rushed. I always want to get to camp as early as I can and just relax for the rest of the day. It was about 3:30 and I only had 7 miles left. When I realized I had time, I took a bit longer break than I should have, then got back going.
There was lots of incline and I was finally back up to almost 6000′. That’s better! I enjoyed the ridgeway although there was still a lot of brush. I got to my campsite around 7, kind of wanting to keep hiking because of how bright it was out still. I knew this was silly since all I wanted to do was be at camp for the last few hours!
I set up my tent for the first time in a while. I’ve been cowboy camping most of the time, but there were lots of animals in this area so I thought the tent might be best. I ate dinner and had a little campfire. I was actually really happy to be camping alone for the first time in a while. I had been hoping no one else would be at the site.
Tomorrow looks pretty flat, and then I’ll be doing a big decline to get into Burney Falls the next day. I’m thinking of taking a zero at the Burney Falls Guest Ranch since I’ve heard only wonderful things. Only a few more days!

 

Day 48: 36 miles, August 28

Today was almost like two days in one. I had some incredible views to start, which had me already taking breaks early. The views were well worth it.

I was having a really bad mental day. My mind was wandering and I kept thinking about things I didn’t want to. My pace was very slow and it just wasn’t a good day. I didn’t care how much mileage I did today because I didn’t want to beat myself up anymore.

After my 100th stop of the day I was looking at my maps and realized it would make more sense for me to get to Burney Falls camp that night so I could have a nice and relaxing day tomorrow. It was already 4:30 and that meant adding 15 miles to my day… I did the math and I could totally do it if I pushed.

So I decided to. I got in full force mode and started hiking at a faster pace. I actually felt so much better after I kicked things up, it was exactly what I needed. It was weird how fast your mood and state can change. It felt like I was starting to have more control over my mind which was really cool.

I hiked into the night, which was my first time night hiking. I actually really enjoyed it. It felt like there was more pure solitude.

Beautiful night sky!

I was finally approaching the Burney Falls State Park and was planning to camp 0.5 miles past it. I saw two headlamps in the distance and figured it was campers from the state park, but it happened to be two NOBOS, Brewhiker and CK.

We laughed at the fact that we were all night hiking and then decided to stop and eat together. Once we started talking, we realized how many mutual connections we had which blew all of our minds. It was like we were destined to meet.

With that, we decided to just camp right where we were. We played cards and had such a fun night. We sat right in the middle of the trail and they pulled out there groundsheet that they were having everyone sign. Awesome idea! Tonight was the latest I had stayed up since I’ve been on the trail.


I should have known something amazing would have come out of this day when it started out bad! Honestly my favourite night on trail and I don’t think anything will beat it.


Day 49: 9.5 miles, August 29

The plan today was to get up early, check out the falls, and hike to Burney Guest Ranch to stay the day/night. It didn’t really happen that way.

We all woke up and decided that we should play one last game of cards before we all head out. We ended up staying there for a while, then all went to the General Store to get food. One thing lead to another and before we knew it we were all gathered around the picnic table eating food, drinking beer and playing games. It was perfect. I love these moments.


I wasn’t mad about not getting to Burney Falls Guest Ranch right away. I either would hang out at the State Park with company, or go to the Guest Ranch and probably hangout alone, so it actually worked out perfectly.

What an incredible day though. It felt great to just relax and chill. It finally got time where I had to get moving or else I’d be night hiking again. We all went to check out the falls, then said our goodbyes and parted ways.

It was only 10 miles to the Guest Ranch which wasn’t bad at all. I passed an INCREDIBLE sunset which unfortunately was blocked by some trees, but still looked unreal regardless.


I got to the Guest Ranch in just the right amount of time before it got dark. I was welcomed by Linda and was blown away by the beauty of the ranch. It was so homey and I hadn’t seen anything like this since being on trail! It felt nice!

She welcomed me with some homemade Strawberry ice cream, we chatted shortly and then I set up camp. I was excited to spend the day hear tomorrow. I had an easy day today and will have another easy one tomorrow. Lots of relaxing but I’ve really been pushing out miles, almost by accident! The last few days have been nice to just go with the flow and see where things take me!

Siead  Valley to Etna

DAY 41: 25.8 miles

I woke up late this morning which made me mad because I wanted to try and beat the heat. I knew I had a big incline to get out of the valley to start my day as well. 

The incline was about 15 miles but it was very gradually, only about 5 miles of it was really steep. It was a nice hike and the heat wasn’t bad since we were climbing out of the valley. 

I had some beautiful views all day. I ate lunch with Bucket and Solar Body. We had a really nice spot and it was super relaxing. 


We all planned on camping in the same spot that night. We entered Marble mountain which was really cool. We camped at the Marble Mountain valley camp spot which was huge and open. A really nice change! There were so many deer just hanging out at the spot too. 



We had a nice fire and went to bed! It was really nice having some other SOBOS to camp with!
DAY 42: 24 miles

I woke up late AGAIN surprise!! I had a super slow day and was feeling really sluggish. The day definitely stretched out. 

There were a lot of nice views of Mount Shasta, which we will be chasing for the next few weeks. 


Bucket and I finally got to the road junction around the same time, around 6:30. The road is a mountain road so there is very little traffic to hitch to town, HOWEVER Etna is an incredibly friendly hiker town so everyone said the first car always stops. Luckily for us, there was a truck right at the road when we arrived so we hopped right in and got to town. No waiting!!

We went straight to Dotty’s and ordered a HUGE milkshake and burger and fries. After that, I went to the City Park where hikers could hike for free. Finally a town day that wasn’t stressful!! 

Crater Lake to Siead Valley

DAY 35: (I don’t even know how many miles)

This morning I went right to the post office in Ashland when it opened so I could send out my boxes. I was hoping for my external battery to be shipped in that I ordered online, but it wouldn’t be in until later that day, so I had to get it forwarded to Callahans and pick it up in four days. My solar charger is TERRIBLE so I was a little bummed that I was gunna have to wait for it!

I left to go get breakfast at Morning Glory which has been the best breakfast I’ve ever had. Soooooo goood! Yum yum yum.

Morning Glory breakfast! French toast stuffed with lemon ricotta and homemade blackberry syrup 😱😱😱😱

I got picked up by a trail angel who was driving me to Crater Lake. I was a little disappointed when I didn’t get there until 4:30, because I still had a ways to hike and it messed up my plans a lot, but I feel bad complaining. I wanted to put in 10 miles but there was no way that would happen today.

Towns have become my least favourite part of the trail. I always leave with a weird mental state and I struggle to get everything done as needed. I really really hate town days!!!

I got dropped off on the Rim Trail, which PCT hikers often take in order to get an incredible view of Crater Lake. So blue and so unbelievably big!! It’s hard to scale by photo. The Rim Trail was really pretty but I was a little nervous about where I was going to camp that night because there were a lot of restricted areas, and I was in a far spot.


I was hiking to the PCT when I saw three other hikers slack packing (hiking with no backpack) in my direction. They were NOBOS heading back to Mazama Village where they were camping. I had no intentions of camping at Mazama, but I really enjoyed there company and since the rest of the day had already been all messed up, I my as well. We got ice cream at the store and then went back to camp and hung out. Gritty played guitar and sang which was so magical. Ive been missing music!!!

We cowboy camped and pointed out constellations and made some up ourselves. We watched the meteor shower and saw some incredible shooting stars. This was my favourite night on trail. I was so thankful to meet these three.


One thing that the PCT has really shown me is that when things don’t go right, it’s because something betters coming. The trail provides!!
DAY 36: 23miles

I wanted to get out of Mazama early but the others were all going for breakfast and I wanted to spend as much time with them as I could because I haven’t been meeting too many people on trail. I’m also running out of money fast, so breakfast wasn’t the best idea. We ate and then had to say goodbye fast as Samson and Gritty had to take the shuttle out. I didn’t get on trail until after 9 which was later than I wanted. Samson had a really laid back, chill attitude about mileage which made me feel at ease about letting each day happen as it needs to. Most NOBOS are only doing 15-20 miles a day tops since they have a bigger time frame. They all think I’m crazy for pushing out high miles!

I didn’t push through today. There was lots of burned down forest (my favourite!!!!!!!! …not) and it was hot and there was no shade. Water sources were getting all dried up in Oregon too, which made me worry about how I’d survive California.

I met two lady’s in there mid 50s who I stopped to chat with for a bit. They were so inspired by my trip and talking to them made me feel really good.

I did 23 miles which wasn’t bad, then stopped to camp with a heard of NOBOS. We had a great sight right near water with an awesome view. It’s was nice to be camping with others. We chatted for a bit, watched the sunset, then went to bed.

 

DAY 37: 32 miles

Today I really felt like challenging myself. I was aiming for high mileage but wasn’t going to push it. If it happens, it happens.

The beginning of the day started with a steep 1 mile incline up to Devils Peak. It was a beautiful view and even though I had only gone one mile, I stopped to enjoy it.


I’ve been starting to take lots of shorter breaks because I find it helps me get through the day faster. I could tell water was starting to get more scarce. I drink sooooo much water so it makes me nervous!

I pushed through and finally got to camp. It was pretty late but I got a new mileage record! Some nights I don’t mind getting to camp late if I have nothing better to do anyways.

There weren’t really any designated spots and there were lots of NOBOS, so it was kind of a free for all. I camped near two others hikers, but didn’t chat long because I needed sleep after that long day!

 
Day 38: 24 miles

I struggled to get up early today. The day was pretty uneventful until I ran into two other SOBO sectioners. Finally other SOBOs! They told me they were staying at Hyatt Resort so they could get food and have a free shower. I was planning on going further than that, but that all sounded good and the company would be nice. It wasn’t long til I didn’t see them again though, since they were at a much slower place.

I decided to go to the Hyatt anyways. It was a 1.5 mile road walk uphill which seemed like forever, and I was starting to regret even coming here. I finally got to the resturant and ordered pizza and a root beer float, which I had been craving for days. It was worth it!

The guy from the campground gives hikers rides to and from the trail, so I was super happy about that! I got down to the campground, had a much needed shower and went to camp with the other hikers. There was a bunch of NOBOS there and we all sat and talked and drank and had a great time. They were all really great people and the company was needed. Some of them took a zero there that day and rented canoes which sounded amazing, and I had wished I had been there the day before to join.

I had such a great night with these people. I love meeting the NOBOS but it always sucks that I only get one night with them.


Day 39: 24 miles

I woke up early today, took advantage of the real rest rooms and outlets, and got right on the trail. I felt really good today, and have been for the last week. I have been passing an insane amount of Northbounders, about 30-50 per day.

I got a BEAUTIFUL view of Pilot rock and hung out there for a bit.


I have been finding campsites are a lot more scarce, so my site tonight wasn’t too great. I got to my site pretty early, around 5:30, and was debating going to Callahans right then. I just didn’t want to pay for a site, I feel that that is a stupid thing to do when you can camp free on the trail. I ended up letting myself relax and hung out, stretched lots and ate dinner. It’s a shame I didn’t have a better campsite.

That night I had a TERRIBLE sleep and was wide awake. I’m not sure what it was but I was wired.


Day 40: 15 miles

I woke up early because I wanted to get right to Callahans and spend as much time getting stuff organized. I ended up getting there later than I planned because the maps are written for NOBOS, so I did a bit of backtracking.

I finally got there and sorted my pack which was much needed. I scored a few things from the hiker box which was awesome. Other than that, I had a really bad time at Callahans. The food was not good and I had such incredibly bad service. I was really disappointed and when I complained they didn’t take me seriously because I was a hiker. This kind of spun me into a bad mental day, leaving in a bad mood.

Since the service was so bad, I didn’t get to leave until after 2. I played music to lift my mood which helped. I ended up doing more miles than I intended which was great. I also ran into trail magic and was SO happy to get a soda!


This gave me the energy I needed. I came to a beautiful view spot and sat and just listened to music for a while. I felt soooo much better than earlier and was stoked to be back on the trail. It’s crazy how much I want to be back on trail now when I get off.


I had so much energy I just kept hiking this night. I didn’t want to be up late like the night before so I just kept hiking until 9, the latest I have yet. I saw a beautiful sunset and the shading of the mountains was incredible. Some of my favourite views I’ve had in all of Oregon and it was in my last night there. I was extremely thankful of this and was happy to have a good last night. I was super stoked to be in California tomorrow.


DAY 40: 26.5 miles

I wanted to do 23 miles today but I was having a slow day. The fact that I was going to be in California today though kept me moving! California was the reason I wanted to do this trip and now that I was so close I just didn’t ever want to get off trail. I’m hoping on just doing the entire rest now.

Right before I got to the boarder I ran into some CRAZY trail magic. A lady had a stand set up with beer, soda, juice, water, sandwiches, fruits, veggies, chips, candy… Just about everything!!! Truly amazing and so grateful!! Bless these trail Angels!


I hung out for a while and then went and crossed the boarder. Woooo!!!

It was kind of crazy how fast Oregon and Northern California divided. NorCal reminded me a lot like Washington which was awesome. It has much more beautiful forest with a bit harder of a hike but it was nice.

I was getting tons of “Welcome to California” wishes from NOBOS and I was saying congrats on leaving the big state.

I got to my campsite and it was incredible! What a great first night in California. I got there early and did a lot of planning so I didn’t have to stress about another town day! It was so nice to just relax. I couldn’t be happier.


Day 41: 25 miles

I wanted to get up super early to get into town ASAP. I had my alarm set for 4:30 but when I woke up it was still dark so I went back to bed…

Later I met up with other SOBOS, Solar Body, Bucket and Mike. I was so excited to finally see some other SOBOS!!!!!!!!

I had 19 miles to town. 6 miles was a very steep decline down to the valley. Looking down from the top it seemed very impossible that it was only 6 miles away!!!

We all got in town around 1:30 and it was HOT. It was 112 degrees in the sun. Ahhhhh!


We made it just before the cafe was about to close and ordered milkshakes (YUM). Since it was so hot, everyone was just hanging out to wait for the heat to go away. There were about 20 other NOBOS there too. We went to the creek and cooled off.

Around 7 I finally decided to leave. It was about a 6 mile road walk to camp. I was SO happy to have waited until it cooled down even though it was a bit dark. Worth it!!!